The Abbey of Sant’Andrea in Flumine is a charming historic building with a magical atmosphere. Hosting your wedding reception in its majestic halls will be like stepping back in time. The abbey complex includes a beautiful VI Century church with cosmatesque flooring, originally built by Galla, daughter of the patrician nobleman Simmacus (who was counsellor to king Theodoric and was eventually executed on his orders). The church welcomes the visitor in a solemn atmosphere. Its most prized feature is a set of priceless frescoes, encased in the majestic structure of granite pillars with Ionic and Corinthian capitals.
This architectural complex is of uncertain origin: the monastery might have been built in the VIII Century by Carloman, Pepin The Short’s brother, and completed – from 747 a.D. on – by a monk by the name of Soratte. Both the abbey and the church were built on roman ruins. The monastery was originally dedicated to saints Peter, Benedict and Andrew, but it eventually kept exclusively the “St Andrew’s” denomination. The “In Flumine” part is a clear reference to the nearby river Tiber. Because of its strategic location close to the river port, the abbey used to be a key point of control of the local trade, as well as the river route to Rome. After a long decline, the church was restored first in 1958, later followed by the steeple and the rest of the abbey complex.
The church, which is currently active as a place of worship, was built in the Romanic style and it contains several works of art, including a series of cosmatesque mosaics, a XII Century ciborium by Master Nicola and his sons Giovanni and Guittone, and several frescoes dating back to the VIII-IX and XV-XVI Centuries. Another remarkable feature is a rare example of rood screen, which was used in ancient abbeys to keep the chancel, used by the clergy, from the nave, where the faithful used to stand.
The abbey of Sant’Andrea in Flumine underwent several restorations, culminating in 2000 with a massive refurbishment by the Architectural and Landscape Superintendent as part of the Millennium Jubilee. The abbey in particular was equipped with new and sturdier fixtures and new utilities, the ground floor and the ancient covered pathway were made habitable and usable again. The nearby archaeological site was also restored. Several historic artefacts were found in the square across the abbey, including a marble bust and part of a capital and frieze, unearthed in 1835.
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